Duke dominates Florida State for 79-60 road win

lkeeley@newsobserver.comFebruary 3, 2013 

Duke Florida St Basketball

Duke's Quinn Cook scores on a clean look at the basket against Florida State in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla. Duke won 79-60.


— Road wins have been particularly hard to come by this year in the ACC, but the Blue Devils looked plenty comfortable at Florida State. Duke made shots at its best rate all year in a 79-60 victory.

The 19-point win is the biggest road victory in the ACC this year.

“You’ve got to give Duke credit,” Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said. “They came in and they just made shots. I mean, my goodness, it seemed like they were raining 3s.”

No. 5 Duke (19-2, 6-2 in the ACC) shot a season-high 60.8 percent from the field and made 11-of-18 shots (61.1 percent) from 3-point range. Seth Curry led the Blue Devils with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor (5-of-7 from deep), and Quinn Cook added 18.

The Blue Devils, who were in rhythm all afternoon, also recorded 20 assists on 31 baskets.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of taking the air out of the ball, guys were getting to spots and getting shots,” Mason Plumlee said. “I’ve always thought a team with a ton of scoring options is the hardest to defend. Everyone is a threat.”

The Seminoles (12-9, 4-4) came into the game looking to limit Plumlee’s touches, which was the opposite of Wake Forest’s approach. The Demon Deacons tried to limit Duke’s looks from 3-point range in a 75-70 loss Wednesday.

Plumlee picked up his second foul at the 10:33 mark of the first half, when Duke was up 21-7, and he sat for the rest of the period. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he would have put him back in if the lead started to slip, but it never did.

Florida State struggled to hit shots, including open looks, while the game was still competitive. The Seminoles opened the game shooting 4-of-17 from the field. Michael Snaer, a preseason All-American candidate for Florida State, struggled mightily in limited action. The senior, who was guarded by Rasheed Sulaimon, went 0-of-5 from the floor in 11 first-half minutes and was whistled for an intentional foul when he fell, stuck his leg out, and according to the referees, tried to trip Josh Hairston. Snaer finished 3-of-13 from the field for seven points.

“Giving him the assignment to guard Michael was a huge assignment,” Krzyzewski said of Sulaimon. “Rasheed is about his size, but not his strength. Rasheed’s got good quickness. That was Rasheed’s best defensive performance of the year, certainly.”

After building a 42-22 halftime lead, Duke opened the second half on an 8-0 run as Sulaimon and Curry hit 3s on the first two offensive possessions and Amile Jefferson added two free throws. The Blue Devils started 5-of-6 from deep in the second, making sure Florida State never seriously challenged the rest of the way.

The performance capped a strong week for Duke. The Blue Devils picked up their first two road wins of the year and continued to move on from their meltdown in Miami.

“Since the Miami game, to win three games in seven days, and two of them on the road shows I’ve got good kids,” Krzyzewski said. “They’re working hard, and they’ve won.

“When you win, and you have to do some good things to win, you start getting a little more confident. So hopefully their confidence is growing.”

In the locker room after the game, the Blue Devils appeared to be a confident bunch. Curry said the team was hitting on all cylinders, and Sulaimon, who added 14 points of his own, was already looking forward to putting together an even stronger performance.

“All of us are really great shooters,” Sulaimon said. “We use each other to get open and run our offense and take good shots. I think we can shoot the ball at a higher percentage each and every game.”

See the box score from the game

Keeley 919-829-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley

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